Gary Clark

Tucked away in the dead center of Texas is the small town of Buffalo Gap. Just 464 people call it home. While the town itself is as idyllic as they come — with farmhouses and lovely pastoral fields dotting every corner — it could still go unnoticed by tourists. But, sadly, those hoping to keep their town to themselves are out of luck. Because now everyone knows about its best-kept secret: Perini Ranch Steakhouse.

Yes, visitors can find delicious cuts of meats and larger-than-life steaks just about anywhere in the state, but there's just something about Perini's that keeps people coming back for more.

"The cowboy ribeye was to die for. The marbling and juiciness of the steak was tasted in every bite," one Yelp reviewer shared in a five-star review. "It lived up to all that we had heard about it!" Another jubilantly exclaimed. "We shared a 30oz porterhouse with salads, rolls, poblano corn, and bread pudding."

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Though none of these positive reviews should come as much of a surprise, considering the restaurant's owner, Tom Perini, has been living on a ranch his entire life and has been cooking for the masses since the early ‘70s.

"In 1973 he turned that passion into a career and has since become America's quintessential cowboy gourmet," Perini's site explains. "After perfecting the traditional cowboy cuisine and creating a few recipes of his own, Perini moved from the back of the chuck wagon into his own restaurant on the family's working ranch."

In 1983, he opened up the now world-famous steakhouse and has only continued to gain more fans, and more accolades, with each passing year.

In 2016, Perini's burger was named one of the "Best Burgers in America" by Food Network. In 2009, it was named one of the best burgers in Texas by Texas Monthly. In 1995, his mesquite-smoked peppered beef tenderloin was selected as the mail order gift of the year by The New York Times. And the list goes on and on.

But, perhaps the best part of dining at the steakhouse is the fact that if you're too full to drive home after your meal you're welcome to spend the night, as the ranch also comes with fully-equipped guests quarters that are available for rent all year long. So go ahead, make the pilgrimage to Buffalo Gap. Just make sure to stop in and say hi to the few residents you see along the way.

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